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Feb 12

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events: 2/13 – 2/19

It’s Valentine’s Day weekend and the Valentine-themed dinners are out of control. They start tonite and roll through Sunday. I am not listing them all here. In fact, I’m pretty much just mentioning the ones that really strike my fancy for one reason or another. For a complete listing of all your romantic Valentine options, check out Cincinnati.com’s Calendar.

Tired or annoyed by Valentine’s Day? That’s okay, because this year it bumps right up against Mardi Gras. Just head down to Covington’s Mainstrasse this weekend and you’ll forget all about that other holiday.

Remember, all the recurring events, those dependable weekly tastings, are displayed on our calendar. The one-time events are after the jump.

For information on what’s going on in Dayton, you can refer to Mark’s blog at Uncorked.

Local Wine Tasting Event Calendar

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Image used under a Creative Commons
license from
Flickr user Kenny Teo

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Posted by Michelle at 11:39 am in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (3)
Feb 05

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events: Feb 5 – 12

Be still my beating heart!  The Weekly Wine Events are back! Really, all is takes is for me to be in town longer than a week at a time. And happily, I’m in town for quite a while this time! I’m terribly behind at this, and my calendar crashed and lost a lot of information this morning. So … please let me know what I’ve missed and I’ll add it to the calendar!

You’re probably thinking Super Bowl for this weekend, but take a moment to peruse the rest of the February calendar. There are all sorts of great events coming up. Of course, if you look ahead on the calendar, you’ll see things with a Valentine’s theme starting to pop up. In my Molecular Bartending post last week, Josh commented and said he’ll be offering cocktail classes at Tonic soon as well. I don’t know what the schedule is for that, but as soon as I know – well, you’ll find it on the calendar and I’ll make sure to share. Pucks & Pinot is also next week. It’s the Cincinnati Cyclones wine tasting event. I mention it because I’m in love with the name!

I want to take a minute to let you know about Give to Haiti weekend at The Wine Merchant (3972 Edwards Road
Oakley). All wine bar proceeds made during the week benefit Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund, so head over to their wine bar tonite through Sunday.

Remember, all the recurring events, those dependable weekly tastings, are displayed on our calendar. The one-time events are after the jump.

For information on what’s going on in Dayton, you can refer to Mark’s blog at Uncorked.

Local Wine Tasting Event Calendar

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Read the rest of this entry »

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 3:41 pm in Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jan 29

Review: Tonic on 4th

I really didn’t want to like Tonic on 4th. In fact, I loved Twist so much, and was so mad that it was gone, that I was determined to never go to Tonic. Period. Then I met Josh Durr, the cocktail consultant for Tonic. His skill with a cocktail shaker swayed me, and later the same week I popped into Tonic. I sort of feel like I haven’t left since.

Josh trained all the bartenders (Benjamin, Maggie, Erin, and Mike), and every one of them has that vintage, craft cocktail thing down to the art that it is. Even better, they’ll explain anything to you, from how and why they make their own bitters, tinctures, and ice to the history of the cocktail on which you’re sipping.

Photo by Bob 5chw4r7z

For me, the test of any bar is the Manhattan. If you read my post earlier this week, you know that Josh made me a flawless Manhattan. I expect nothing less from the folks at Tonic, and they deliver. My request of “stirred and up” might as well be laughed at – how else would they serve it? And I love that.

The cocktail menu is large and eclectic, and the menu is divided up into several sections: Classical (e.g., Moscow Mule, Aviation), Classic Punches (e.g., Bourbon Milk Punch), Neo Classical Originals (e.g., The Liberal Liberal and the absinthe-included Lumberjack Frappe), and New Punches (e.g., Teachers Punch). The menu not only lists what is in each drink, but provides you with a history of each cocktail.

Photo by Bob 5chw4r7z

My first night there, Benjamin made me a Bluegrass Flip. It was a drink I’d never heard of, but really enjoyed. Honestly, I’m not overly sure what was in it besides some liquor mixed with a Bourbon Barrel Stout and some egg; maybe some bourbon? Trust me, it’s a lot better than it sounds, and it lives on their Specials menu.

My friends all have a range of favorites. One girlfriend swears by the Liberal Liberal, which is a slight twist on a Manhattan. The recipe calls for Wild Turkey 101, sweet vermouth, Amaro, and the house-made orange bitters. I know that a couple of the bartenders actually prefer the drink with different bourbon. I tried it with the Wild Turkey, but it wasn’t up my alley. I suspect I might enjoy it more with Four Roses. Another girlfriend is very attached to the classic Moscow Mule, which is simply Smirnoff Lime Juice and Goslings Ginger Beer. Finally, a friend of mine will always order an Old Old-Fashioned. I had to ask – what’s a New Old-Fashioned? Apparently newer Old Fashioneds have some fruit muddled in the bottom, but the older style focuses more on the bourbon.

Photo by Bob 5chw4r7z

Twice now I’ve ordered snacks. Tonic shares a kitchen with Local 127, but don’t expect to order off the Local 127 menu. Tonic offers light bites, but they’re quite tasty. Thus far I’ve tried a rather yummy plate of Stuffed Baked Potato Skins (so cute and tiny!), Ohio Kennebec Fries with Cheddar Sauce, and an order of Sliders. I’ve seen the Grass Fed Fox Hollow Burger with Cheese. It’s huge and according to a friend of mine, quite tasty. Because they share the kitchen with Local 127, Tonic adheres to the same policy of local foods from local growers and markets.

Oh the wine list? I haven’t paid much attention. Because Tonic is so focused on craft cocktails, I don’t expect them to have the world’s largest wine list. However, since they are a part of Local 127, I do expect what they offer to be top-notch. I was happy to see they still offer the Gruet sparkling wine from New Mexico, which is the bottle I always ordered at Twist ($8 a glass at Tonic). They also offer a nice Montfort Chenin Blanc ($5) and a rather eclectic red selection including Chile and South Africa. It’s a short list, all by the glass. I should probably ask for a wine list next time I visit, just to see what all of the options are on the off chance I order a bottle.

As for beer, they have a nice selection of bottles, including Lindemann’s Framboise and Bells Seasonal. Their tap includes Unibroue’s Maudite, La Chouffe, Delirium, several ciders, and the Left Hand Polestar Pilsner, among many others.

The prices at Tonic aren’t cheap. On a good night, it’s easy for two people to run up a bill of around $100. At the same time, you’re not drinking well drinks either. I’ve been to Tonic three times now, although I want to go more. Of course, I’m in Las Vegas now, trying to find a decent Manhattan in Sin City. But I’m actually home the entire month of February. Do you know what that means? It means you can find me at Tonic.

My review:
Tonic on 4th on Urbanspoon

My thanks to Bob 5chw4r7z for use of the photos!

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Posted by Michelle at 8:44 am in Cincinnati, Cocktails, Local, Restaurants | Permalink | Comments (2)
Jan 21

Best of Cincinnati

So, this blog has been nominated for CityBeat’s annual Best of Cincinnati  – Best Blog. Don’t worry, I won’t campaign too much. When you start reading through the categories, and some of the entries in some of the categories, you’ll understand that this is all in good fun. In some cases, incredibly silly fun. That said, a Best of Cincinnati certificate would be pretty cool hanging on the wall over my little wine fridge. ;-)

Just go to the link, scroll down to Public Eye, and you’ll find My Wine Education under the Blog section. Of course, you’ll also find some of my best friends in the same category. You also don’t have to vote in every category – just the ones that interest you.

Cheers!

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Posted by Michelle at 1:01 pm in Cincinnati | Permalink | Comments (1)
Dec 31

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

So tonite is New Year’s Eve, ushering out the old year and decade and welcoming in the new. Tonite, we’re just having a low-key evening including dinner out with friends and maybe back to their place. At the moment, I’m just leaning towards Dick Clark / Ryan Seacrest and some tea at midnight. It’s been a crazy busy year, full of travel and change. I’m hoping if I usher in the new year calmly, then 2010 might reflect some of that calm.

What are you doing? There are a lot of options, and I’ll point you in the right direction to find lists of parties. Don’t forget, the new Mynt Martini is now open on Fountain Square. I expect the place to give Tonic a run for its money, although I’ll take vintage cocktails over creative martinis any day. Amazing location though! If anyone goes, I’d love for you to write me up a review!

On to festivities:

  • MetroMix has compiled a pretty good listing of the larger New Year’s Eve celebrations.
  • ZipScene is listing over 130 New Year’s events. You have no excuse for not finding something to do. Bootsy’s and Red are included on that list.
  • The Wise Owl Wine Bar in West Chester (sorry, no web site yet) has a fairly low-key New Year’s Eve event. You can RSVP online or call them at 513.889.2500.
  • CityBeat has everything listed, from parties, to hosting your own dinner party, to a worst-case scenario survival guide.

And in case you overindulge – hey, it happens! – you can count on a free taxi ride home. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is sponsoring free taxi rides home as long as you’re within the 275 loop. The number to call (write this down) is 513-768-FREE.

Image by Flickr User Waldo Jaquith
via Creative Commons

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Posted by Michelle at 10:05 am in Cincinnati, Cocktails, Entertainment, Holiday | Permalink | Comments ()

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